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Posted inDemocracy, Elections, Issue Ad Watch

Outside groups push pedal to the metal In Michigan race

The Sierra Club is distributing campaign items attacking Senator Spencer Abraham in the form of a “campaign contribution,” above, and his “environmental batting average,” below. With 33 seats up for grabs in the U.S. Senate in November and the Republicans clinging to a majority of only five, outside groups are pumping large sums into close […]

Posted inDemocracy

Black candidates see little of the millions their parties raise

The Second Congressional District cuts a swath about 275 miles long and 180 miles wide through the deepest, most rural counties of Mississippi. Here, the median household income is $15,500, and nearly 40 percent of the population lives in poverty. When the districts representative, Bennie Thompson, raises money for re-election, he usually goes elsewhere. Few […]

Posted inDemocracy

When the Democrats wined and dined, here’s who paid the piper

Anyone who thought the Democratic National Convention was only about presidential nominee Al Gore must have missed the nonstop parties aimed at wining and dining the Democratic Party’s biggest donors. The following is a compilation of the many private, invitation-only parties held in the Los Angeles area from before the convention gavel officially opened the […]

Posted inDemocracy, Elections, Issue Ad Watch

Legal challenge seeks to bring down new campaign finance law

A conservative group in Alabama has filed the first court challenge to recently passed campaign finance legislation that aims to force certain tax-exempt political groups to disclose their donors and expenditures. The National Federation of Republican Assemblies is a “527” group, so named after a section of the IRS code. Before the law went into […]

Posted inDemocracy

Commentary: Profiteering from democracy

In his January 1998 State of the Union address, after decrying the campaign-fund-raising “arms race,” President Clinton proposed a major new policy that would address a big part of the problem—the high cost of campaign commercials. “I will formally request the Federal Communications Commission act to provide free or reduced-cost television time for candidates,” the […]

Posted inGenetics, Health

Embryo research: profit vs ethics?

Biotechnology companies specializing in stem cell research stand to reap huge financial windfalls from successful therapies developed via this science. To ensure that their research can continue and perhaps accelerate, some of the companies have teamed up with patients rights groups against certain religious and pro-life groups in the fight over federal regulation of this […]

Posted inDemocracy

Democratic fundraiser, cyber-investor enjoys access to White House, Gore

On May 5, 1999, Vice President Al Gore announced the creation of the Parents’ Protection Page, a White House sponsored web-site designed to help parents steer their children away from obscene material on the Internet. “With this new Parents’ Protection Page,” Gore said, “we will help ensure that children aren’t surfing into dangerous waters when […]

Posted inDemocracy, Elections, Issue Ad Watch

IRS seeks to clarify new campaign finance disclosure law

A campaign finance law intended to resolve questions about unregulated soft money is generating as many questions as answers. The legislation targeting so-called “Section 527” groups has led to a flood of inquiries at the Internal Revenue Service amid confusion and complaints about the interpretation of which groups must file under the law. The campaign […]

Posted inDemocracy

Cheney led Halliburton to feast at federal trough

Under the guidance of Richard Cheney, a get-the-government-out-of-my-face conservative, Halliburton Company over the past five years has emerged as a corporate welfare hog, benefiting from at least $3.8 billion in federal contracts and taxpayer-insured loans. One of these loans was approved in April by the U.S. Export-Import Bank. It guaranteed $489 million in credits to […]

Posted inHealth

The story behind fatal care

MELBOURNE, Australia, August 1, 2000 — Our high noon began on an ordinary morning at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. As the day progressed, professors of medicine, senior clinicians, and hospital administrative brass joined their legal team in the battle field. They were the top rung of Australia’s biggest and most influential health care […]

Posted inDemocracy, Elections, Issue Ad Watch

Undisclosed soft money to pay for GOP perks; 21 on Hill seek change

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2000 — At the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, cars and drivers will be provided for all attending Republican members of Congress, along with 24-hour concierge service, staffed with 50 workers at the ready, according to news reports. These perks would be paid for by “soft-money” contributions to the leadership political action […]

Posted inAccountability

The state of the President’s finances: Can Estrada explain his wealth? Part one

The state of the President’s finances: Can Estrada explain his wealth? Part two By Yvonne T. Chua, Sheila Coronel and Vinia M. Datinguinoo July 23, 2000 MANILA, Philippines, July 23, 2000 — This two-part series was originally published on the website of the Philippine Center of Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) on July 23, 2000. It is […]

Posted inAccountability

The state of the President’s finances: Can Estrada explain his wealth? Part two

The state of the President’s finances: Can Estrada explain his wealth? Part one By Yvonne T. Chua, Sheila Coronel and Vinia M. Datinguinoo July 23, 2000 This two-part series was originally published on the website of the Philippine Center of Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) on July 23, 2000. It is reprinted here with permission. In 1998, […]

Posted inDemocracy

Special Report: White House refuses to release list of Gore’s sleepover guests

Vice President Al Gore’s office has been stonewalling requests to provide a list of persons who have been overnight guests at his official residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. Gore officials have insisted that all guests have been merely “close friends and relatives from Tennessee,” and that no such list exists. They have […]

Posted inDemocracy, Elections, Issue Ad Watch

Interests behind 527 groups seeking ways around new law

Though the law forcing certain tax-exempt political groups to disclose their donors and expenditures is just days old, some of the interests behind the groups are already seeking ways around it. “I have no intentions of submitting to this,” said William Wilson, spokesman for the Council for Responsible Government, one of the Section 527 groups […]

Posted inDemocracy, Elections, Issue Ad Watch

Congress sifts competing measures on campaign finance reform

WASHINGTON, June 27, 2000 — On June 8, the Senate passed an amendment by Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., that would force currently invisible political groups to disclose their identities and their sources of funding. Congress is trying to decide which measure will best accomplish that. Here is a comparison of the most promising legislation on […]

Posted inDemocracy, Elections, Issue Ad Watch

Joint fund-raising committees: One-stop shopping for donors

Political parties are turning to raising money jointly with candidates for Congress in greater numbers than ever this year and the questionable practice has raised more than $13 million so far this election cycle. WHAT IS ‘SOFT MONEY’? Soft money is the unlimited contributions from any labor, corporate, or individual donor received by a political […]

Posted inDemocracy

Oil-financed Congress members target public-interest group

A saga involving Big Oil, millions of unrealized tax dollars, whistle-blowers, members of Congress and campaign contributions is resuming on Capitol Hill, with a highly partisan House committee threatening contempt-of-Congress charges against a small, besieged public-interest watchdog group. The setting is the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, presided over by Representative Barbara Cubin, […]

Posted inDemocracy, Elections, Issue Ad Watch

Why Mitch wants Rudy’s money

Before calling it quits, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had raised more than $19 million for his Republican Senate campaign against Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. The Giuliani campaign, after paying remaining bills and returning $2.8 million in general election funds to contributors, will be left with more than $3 million. Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., chairman […]

Posted inDemocracy, Elections, Issue Ad Watch

The heat is on

New York Republicans might be nominating Representative Rick Lazio instead of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani for the U.S. Senate, but one thing remains the same: Outside interest groups don’t want Hillary Rodham Clinton elected. Even before Hillary Rodham Clinton formally accepted the Democratic nomination on May 16, three interest groups and political action committees had begun […]